Here’s a great way to brush up on your Bard while you’re locked down in sweet sorrow.
Streaming service BroadwayHD has reached a deal with Britain’s famed Royal Shakespeare Company to stream a number of past productions from its back catalogue, the companies said today. The theater-centric service will add nine RSC works in January, beginning today with productions of Hamlet and King Lear that were filmed in 2016. Additional works will debut on the platform in February and March.
Here’s the full lineup for January:
- King Lear (2016): starring Antony Sher, directed by Gregory Doran.
- Antony and Cleopatra (2017): directed by Iqbal Khan, starring Josette Simon and Antony Byrne.
- Hamlet (2016): starring Paapa Essiedu (I May Destroy You).
- Macbeth (2018): starring Christopher Eccleston and Niamh Cusack, directed by Polly Findlay.
- Measure for Measure (2019): directed by Gregory Doran.
- Love’s Labour’s Lost (2014): directed by Christopher Luscombe.
- The Merry Wives of Windsor (2018): directed by Fiona Laird.
- Two Gentlemen of Verona (2014): directed by Simon Godwin.
- Timon of Athons (2018): directed by Simon Godwin, starring Kathryn Hunter.
Based in Stratford-upon-Avon—aka William Shakespeare’s hometown—RSC has a lineage that dates back to the 1800s. It’s known for hatching the careers of some of the U.K.’s most renowned actors, including Dame Judi Dench and Sir Ian McKellen.
In a statement, artistic director Gregory Doran said the venue had been filming all of its Shakespeare works since 2013, and it sees the partnership with BroadwayHD as a way to introduce the plays to wider audiences as theaters remain closed due to ongoing coronavirus restrictions.
For five-year-old BroadwayHD, the deal is a nice feather in its cap as it seeks to beef up its library and become a one-stop shop for theater fanatics. The competition for filmed theater content is growing increasingly fierce as more Broadway shows from recent seasons ink deals with mainstream streaming services, such as Amazon Prime (What the Constitution Means to Me), HBO Max (American Utopia), Netflix (The Prom), and Disney Plus (Hamilton).
BroadwayHD says its current library includes more than 300 productions.